Detection of lines and boundaries in speckle images - application to medical ultrasound

Richard N. Czerwinski, Douglas L. Jones, William D. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes an approach to boundary detection in ultrasound speckle based on an image enhancement technique. The enhancement algorithm works by filtering the image with `sticks,' short line segments which are varied in orientation to achieve the maximum projected value at each point. The statistical properties of this approach have been described in an earlier paper; in this work we present three significant extensions to improve the performance of the basic method. First, we investigate the effect of varying the size and shape of the sticks. We show that these variations affect the performance of the algorithm in very fundamental ways, for example by making it more or less sensitive to thinner or more tightly curving boundaries. Second, we present a means of improving the performance of this technique by estimating the distribution function of the orientation of the line passing through each point. Finally, we show that images can be `stained' for easier visual interpretation by applying to each pixel a false color whose hue is related to the orientation of the most prominent line segment at that point. Examples are given to illustrate the performance of the different settings on a single image.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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